Okay, I do promotions for a living, I'm the reason why a lot of sites go from spending no money on advertising and being small, to spending no money and being quite large of a site. I'm not going to give out my best tips, however, I'll give out those that will help out some of you anyway. I just hope that you'll look favorably on me and write to me, respond to this, or talk to me about a co-promotional effort with my newly redesigned Entertainment site, for which I have a link for below. That would be Jigga.
RULE #1 - You can't promote a crappy site!
If you want to start promoting a website, make sure that first of all, you have a good design. Without a good design that sticks out, no one will go to your page, then those that do, they aren't coming back. An ugly site isn't as memorable as a nicely designed site. Also, make sure that you have good content. Content is the most important thing, if you have no content, but amazing scripts, and graphics, no one is going to go. So, don't bother trying to make up for a lack of content with impressive flash and graphics. It isn't going to get you repeat visitors unless they admire your ability to spend hours working on each flash page.
RULE #2 - If you are spending money on advertising, you are spending too much money.
You shouldn't be spending money on advertising until you have a large enough site to warrant it. Yes, I know, advertising is supposed to get your site traffic, however, unless you are using goto.com, you aren't going to get anything more than a empty wallet by paying for your traffic early.
RULE #3 - Always, look for other sites to co-promote with before you advertise in any other way.
If you want to promote your site, the best way is to talk to other websites that have a slightly higher traffic flow than your site, and trade links with them. Not on a links page, but on a prominant place on their mainpage. However, if you do this, make sure you link with sites that aren't related to yours in content too closely, this way you can raise your overall demographics, and gain a much larger viewership.
RULE #4 - Forget search engines in the beginning!
Unless you are getting a lot of traffic and you have a lot of other sites linking to you, you can forget about placing your site in search engines, so don't waste the time submitting to each one. It's only going to frustrate you and waste the time you could be spending on promoting your site in some way or getting together co-promotions. As your site traffic grows and the sites linking to you grow, you'll be able to post in search engines. Why? Because you'll finally show up in search engine rankings, which are moving more and more to the popularity method of ranking sites. Also, make sure you update your site everyday, that also helps with ranking as well. That's why you'll notice my introduction to my site changes basically everyday, however my content changes maybe once a week when I add all the weeks new content.
RULE #5 - You have to pay me for more rules!